Wednesday 13 December 2017

Diana damned by one-star reviews

Naomi Watts stars in Diana, which has been panned by critics
Naomi Watts stars in Diana, which has been panned by critics
Actress Naomi Watts was the queen of the red carpet in London last night at the premiere of the film, ‘Diana’, in which she plays the tragic princes
Naomi Watts arrives for the Diana premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in central London

Critics have panned the film about Diana, Princess of Wales just after its glittering world premiere.

Naomi Watts, who plays the title role of Diana in the film of the same name about the final years of the princess's life, got a warm reception as she looked suitably regal in a floor-length white gown and diamonds while waving at fans.

Critics gave just about everything to do with the film a much colder reception.

A review in The Times, which gave the film one star out of five, praised Naomi for "doing her level best with a squirmingly embarrassing script" but added that "this film is still atrocious and intrusive".

It said the film "bumps up romance and trivia at the expense of some serious comment about the royal family's control of her access to her sons, who hardly feature, and Diana's disturbed behaviour".

The film, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, charts Diana's romance with Dr Hasnat Khan, which ended shortly before her death alongside Dodi Fayed in a Paris car crash in 1997.

Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw wrote "poor Princess Diana". He continued: "I hesitate to use the term 'car crash cinema'. But the awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, she has died another awful death.

"This is due to an excruciatingly well-intentioned, reverential and sentimental biopic about her troubled final years, laced with bizarre cardboard dialogue - a tabloid fantasy of how famous and important people speak in private."

In his one-star review, Mirror critic David Edwards writes that it can "only be described as a fabulously awful film". He said the much-loved Queen of Hearts "has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid" while adding that the film is "a cheap and cheerless effort that looks like a Channel 5 midweek matinee".

The film's "many sudden shifts in mood" are frustrating, according to The Independent, which adds that it could have been stronger if it had not been "lumbered with the baggage that the real Diana brings and had simply told a fictional story about a love affair between a princess and an outsider. That, though, would have defeated the purpose".

It goes on: "However, Diana works well enough as a dark romantic drama and is far less exploitative than it might have been. Naomi Watts gives an intense and volatile performance as the princess.

"The problem, though, is that she doesn't really resemble the character she is playing, and the film shifts wildly in tone."

Press Association

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